On Monday 14 April 2008, worshippers at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London, celebrated the festivals of Swaminarayan Jayanti and Rama Navmi with great devotion and fervour. To mark this auspicious occasion, a grand variety of food was offered to the deities.
At 12 noon, the sadhus performed the birth-arti of Shri Ramchandraji. All the devotees had the opportunity to rock the cradle of Shri Ramchandraji. Throughout the day, devotees were also given the opportunity of offering abhishek to the sacred image of Nilkanth Varni (Bhagwan Swaminarayan).
In the evening, devotional singing and discourses extolling the life and virtues of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Shri Ramchandraji were presented. The grand assembly culminated in the celebrations of the birth of Bhagwan Swaminarayan at precisely 10:10pm.
Swaminarayan Jayanti and Rama Navmi were also celebrated on the evening of Saturday 12 April 2008. An enlightening programme featuring sketches, discourses and devotional singing was prepared by the Yuvak Mandal extolling the power of the Swaminarayan mahamantra. Through the inspiring programme, the glory and divinity of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was depicted and accounts from devotees past and present were illustrated as verses from “Je Swaminarayan Nam Leshe...” were explained through the vivid performances.
Yogvivek Swami, head sadhu of the Mandir, then addressed the assembly and spoke of the significance of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s birth during the period of Kaliyug in defeating our inner enemies and promoting righteousness and peace.
Following the main celebrations, the awards ceremony of the National Sponsored Walk & Fun Run 2008 took place. BAPS recognised the admirable efforts of all the participants and also appreciated key supporters, in particular, Ajay Patel and David Clough from Goldshield, platinum sponsors for the charity event.